10% Rise in Iran's Oil Exports to Europe

10% Rise in Iran's Oil Exports to Europe10% Rise in Iran's Oil Exports to Europe

Iran shipped 767,000 barrels per day of crude oil to its European customers last month, inching closer to its pre-sanctions export levels to the continent.

The No. 3 OPEC producer stepped up Europe-bound exports by 10% in Dec. or roughly 76,000 barrels per day, the Oil Ministry said in a report on Wednesday, Shana reported.

Turkey and Italy were the top importers at 190,000 barrels per day. Spain and Greece each bought 97,000 bpd last month.

Iran used to sell around 800,000 bpd to European buyers before the tightening of international sanctions in 2011 and 2012.

Tehran has staged a strong rebound in oil output and exports after sanctions were lifted in January 2016. It is now producing 3.8 million barrels of oil and condensates per day, with exports reportedly at 2.8 million bpd.

Sanctions curtailed crude production to around 1 million bpd as exports to Europe dropped to zero. Under the sanctions regime, a handful of countries, mainly Iran's backbone oil clients such as India, China and South Korea, were allowed to conduct crude transactions with Iran.

French energy company Total S.A., Italian oil majors Eni and Saras, Greek refiner Hellenic Petroleum, Russia's Lukoil, Spanish refiner Cepsa, Royal Dutch Shell, Hungary’s MOL and Turkey's Tupras are among the list of Iran's crude oil customers.

Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh forecast this month that Iran will earn $41 billion from oil and gas condensate exports by the end of the present fiscal year in March. 

Crude and condensate exports in the nine months (Jan.-Dec. 2016) amounted to $29 billion. Tehran reportedly earned $25 billion from oil sales in the previous fiscal.

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